Introduction to the Book, and no I won’t copyright your Elvis sighting.

I’ve had a few folks ask me about this phantom “book” I keep referencing, so here’s a little bit about it. It isn’t mine per say but rather a freelance project I’ve been hired to tackle. It’s a coffee table-style book about the Green Bay Packers. (Thanks for reading this far, Bears fans. You can move on to another blog now and I won’t be offended.)

The author, Jim, is a lifelong Packers fan and a local doctor by trade. Five or six years ago he began compiling information on the origin of the team only as a fervent hobby. The deeper he dug, the more he realized there was a big story to tell, and thus he began a long journey to write a narrative to parallel the recorded history of the Green Bay Packers. His sweet wife and four children have endured his passion alongside him.

Last spring, he gave Michele, his friend and my former boss at the magazine, a call to see if she knew anyone who’d be interested in designing his book. I was sitting next to her as she gave him my name and recommendation. I rang him after work and we agreed to meet at the Barnes & Noble to talk about the project a little more. There we sat, on the floor between two tall bookshelves, coffee in hand, surrounded by his laptop and terra station with hundreds of archived photos with written text. Honestly, I was overwhelmed. I could see the potential for a very thick book. He explained his vision, I told him of my modest design skills, and we agreed to take a chance on each other. (He’d never written and published a book, and Lord knows I’ve never designed one.)

Fast forward to today. I’ve completed 22 chapters and I’m waiting on the last two from Jim’s co-author who lives in Green Bay. We’ve reached just shy of 400 pages, and what’s left are the technicals – the index, the bibliography, the table of contents, the dust cover… We’re nearly 10 months into the project and it could easily take another six. In addition to designing the physical book, I’ve also been hired to edit its content. (Can you imagine the amount of Packers trivia tucked away inside my brain?) This book is one of the reasons I’ve been content to stay in Amarillo for now. It was an opportunity on which I couldn’t pass, with my sole purpose for doing it being the experience itself.

After all, a writer who’s trained to write in AP Style doesn’t just pick up the Chicago Manual of Style for fun.

Anyway, I was researching copyright regulations last night when I stumbled upon the subject of what can be copyrighted and what cannot. In case you were wondering, unless you got a photo of it, your Elvis sighting cannot be protected:

Can you only imagine the kind of phone calls they get? Sheesh.

8 Replies to “Introduction to the Book, and no I won’t copyright your Elvis sighting.”

  1. Pingback: Go Pack Go! |
  2. Pingback: And now we wait. |

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